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Lasers in Research Applications for Oceanographic Monitoring




Applications for laser-driven monitoring systems in oceanographic research and those related to airborne and land-based capabilities are divided by the unique need when working on the shore, in the ocean, and the subsea. These include blue light lasers which have created advanced options in remote data collection for land and sea studies. According to recent research, ship-based monitoring instruments are being replaced or complemented by “LiDAR satellites, small aircraft, and buoys to study the ebb and flow of the ocean and the impact of natural and man-made forces on ocean environments.”

In a recent XPRIZE competition CFIS partnered with the Quantum Composers Laser team in the Ocean Discovery category. The team made the cut from 30 to 8 teams and placed 4th in the competition, leveraging the ingenuity of Quantum Composers’ laser to create an advanced oceanographic research system. Quantum Composers designs and manufactures compact DPSS Q-switched lasers suitable for OEM, scientific and industrial use. The compact, sealed resonators are ideal for portable remote sensing, LiDAR, and spectroscopy applications which includes the aforementioned Spectrolite, a pulsed Diode Pumped Solid State blue laser. These lasers and others can also be modified and customized for a variety of applications including the following ones.

Ocean-color data is a key area of advancement for laser-based oceanographic research

One of the major application areas for laser applications in marine studies is the monitoring of environmental changes indicated by ocean-color data. Lasers are used to measure the wavelength dependence of the water-leaving radiances at the ocean surface which occurs due to light scattering and the absorption of them by chlorophyll pigments as well as dissolved and particulate matter in surface ocean water. This type of data collection also indicates the relative presence of phytoplankton (an important part of oceanographic ecosystems), the concentration of chlorophyll, and dissolved and particulate material in surface ocean waters, as well as sea surface temperature.

LiDAR Research and Monitoring Applications